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Roasted Nectarine & Blue Cheese Salad

Is it Spring yet? No really… is. it. Spring. yet? I think I have had enough. I am one more snowflake away from packing it all up and moving to Puerto Rico. Seriously.

When I found myself yearning for a taste of sweet, sweet summer last week, I attempted the unthinkable… grilling a nectarine. On the BBQ. Outside. In the -20C weather. So all geared up in my big puffy jacket covering two layers of sweaters, track pants over my long johns, fashionable trapper hat, mukluks and mittens I attempted to BBQ. Quickly I discovered the BBQ cover was completely frozen in place. Damn you winter! In fear of shattering the cover into a million frozen pieces (liquid nitrogen style), I gave up. Fifteen minutes later, after removing an outfit fit to climb Everest, I settled on roasting the nectarines in the oven. What an ordeal.

But don’t you fret. This salad can be made anytime of year. While I do love the grilled flavour a seasoned grill provides, roasting nectarines in the oven is just as enjoyable. The most important piece of advice here is not the grill, it’s the ripeness of the nectarines. Make sure they are ripe. And while it’s hard to find perfectly ripe nectarines (or peaches) this time of year, it’s just as easy to throw a few in a brown paper bag and allow them to ripen on the counter. In effect, you may need to wait a few days for this salad!

Roasted Nectarine & Blue Cheese Salad

This salad is oh-so-simple to prepare. The nectarines (or peaches) can be grilled on the BBQ, roasted in the oven, or left completely raw – it’s up to you! The blue cheese complements the sweetness of the fruit, while the simple rice wine vinaigrette wakes up all the flavours!

Yield: Makes two starter salads, or one dinner salad

2 ripe nectarines (or peaches), but in half
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Fresh cracked black pepper & sea salt to taste
3 cups mixed greens
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
Slivered almonds to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place nectarines in a baking dish. Roast in over for 10-15 minutes, or until softened and warm. Remove and set aside to cool.
2.  Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper into the bottom of a salad bowl. Whisk until combined.
3. Add mixed greens to the bowl and toss until coated.
4. Place greens on plate and top with roasted nectarine, blue cheese and slivered almonds.

Are you just about ready for Spring?

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